Posts Tagged ‘Bret Hart’

Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast

Pro-wrestling legend and WWE Hall Of Famer Bret Hart recently appeared on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast for a wide-ranging conversation about his career, whether he wants to work with WWE again and much more. Below are some highlights:

The most successful era of his career:

“I think in 1997 I was in my absolute prime. I was never bitter; I was uninjured. I was ready to go and ready to make some serious changes to make a difference to have my all-time favorite matches that I would have loved to have. It’s a shame that the Montreal Screwjob happened, especially from the fact that there wasn’t anymore matches with Shawn Michaels or Steve Austin. Can you imagine the matches I could have had The Rock when he was finally over, and some of the other guys. I wish, even when I went to WCW I could have had classic matches with Chris Benoit, and it’s a shame that things happened the way they happened, but in 1997, there was so many great matches. It was such a strong year for me.

“I love when I think about the SummerSlam match against The Undertaker. What a great match, wonderful story. Two wrestlers that had such great respect for one another. I look back on 1997, with my match against Steve Austin; heck, even the Screw Job itself was a really great match. That was all planned, the way the match was built, and then the bell started, but we had another 25 minutes planned that the Screwjob hadn’t allowed us to continue with it. When the bell rang, that was when the whole wrestling match was going to start because we were brawling all over the floor. All I cared about was having this beautiful match, and telling a story. Had the Screwjob not been written into the story, it would have been a classic—perhaps the greatest Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart match that we would have talked about today, not because of what happened. That spot with the Sharpshooter with Shawn reversing it was planned, it was just a spot; and a pretty good spot; a big momentum changer. That was the first five minutes of the match, but the real spots were coming, but unfortunately we never got to do them.”

How he regained his enthusiasm for professional wrestling:

“I think WCW will kill any kind of joy in your life. I think I started hating money; The money they paid me was insane; but I would be off and fly first-class airplane, luxury cars and hotels, and then arrive at the arena and have Eric Bischoff tell you 5-10 minutes after 6pm that you are off tonight. I would then ask why I flew all the way down [to the arena] and then he would tell me not to worry about it and enjoy the day off [at the arena]. I didn’t go there to dog it, I wanted to work and tear that place down. I wanted to wrestle, and to have something. They were so bad, they would kill any hope in anybody.”

His hatred for Eric Bischoff:

“I don’t have a good thing to say about Eric Bischoff or anything he ever did. Talk about the Midas touch, he was the opposite. He would kill your career; he was too stupid to know what a career was. It’s like, if you had passion for your matches and a genius for wrestling talent, it didn’t mean anything to Eric Bischoff, he was the worst loser, maggot – he was a nice enough guy, but he was just the worst. I felt so bad, because I went to WCW because I really wanted to make a difference. If you look at WCW and all the names that they had, and all the wrestlers, they had everything, all they needed was to have someone who knew what they were doing; someone with half a brain.

“I heard his quote, which is why I get hostile towards Eric Bischoff talking about how when i came to WCW I was like a broken toy, or that I didn’t have the fire. I could strangle him when I hear him say that because that is so not true. I was on fire; I wanted to take the world on; I wanted to take that whole company and kick Vince McMahon in the teeth. I wanted to put on the best matches. Give me Chris Benoit, give me Booker T, give me Sting, Hogan, and we can really get this thing rocking here, but he was such an idiot – I would tell him that if he was sitting right next to me; you are an idiot and you cost everybody. You look at wrestling today it’s like a monopoly, so the wrestlers themselves have no leverage of any kind. Before, if they weren’t going to be paid, you could have told them that you were going to go to WCW like the old days, that was so much better for the wrestlers because we had a bargaining table, but today? No, and that is all Eric Bischoff’s fault; he killed the wrestling business, he was the worse.

“I like Eric. He was always nice to me. He had done some nice things for me like the night Owen [Hart] died, he flew me home in a learjet; paid me the whole summer with a ridiculous wage, so he did some nice things there, but at the same time, he lied to me and killed my career. It’s kind of like; come to WCW and sign this contract so that we can kill your career. That is what we are going to do.”

Getting closure with Shawn Michaels:

“When I came back and did that storyline with Shawn, it was something I always remember. I remember telling Vince McMahon that I wanted to have peace in the ring, and Vince was surprised, but I told him that I would be happy to shake his hand, make peace with him and that caught Vince by surprise. I always thought that when I would go back, and even met Shawn, I thought to myself that in about 3-4 months from now I would be really sorry that I ever did any of this with him; that he is not going to change, that it wouldn’t mean anything to him, but I was wrong, and I am glad I was wrong. He appreciated that gesture so much; I think he was under so much guilt and shame because what he did was something to feel ashamed because Pro Wrestling is all about respect, and he didn’t have the trust and respect from me in the first place back then, which is how that storyline originally happened. The whole Screwjob is based on a single conversation between me and Shawn, maybe a month before the Screwjob, where I stopped him and said that we are going to wrestle each other at Survivor Series in 3 weeks, and he said, yeah, I just found out today. I told him that I wanted him to know that I had no problem doing anything that he wanted, and said that I know we had our issues, but if I had to drop the belt to him, it’s not a problem. I also said that if you are in the ring with me you are always going to be safe, and said that I was a total professional, if I had any issues with him I would talk to him about it in the locker room, never in the ring, and I remember saying that to him, and Shawn looked at me, which is where everything started, he looked at me and said that he appreciates that, but he wanted me to know that he would not do the same thing for me. When he said that, it was like, I just promised that I would lose the belt to you and now you are telling me to stick it up my a**? That was where all the problems started;

“Shawn and I made a peace that was very real. I am proud that I dug deep into my soul and made peace with the guy, which I wasn’t sure at the time whether it was the right thing to do. I just want to say with people, anyone in their own life, if you have something eating away from you, and kind of destroying you, make peace with it and get it out of the way. Don’t keep dragging down all this pain, which is a lesson that I learned.”

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Source: Sports Illustrated

Bret Hart spoke with Sports Illustrated’s “Extra Mustard” on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:

The 1992 SummerSlam match against the British Bulldog:

“I’ll always be partial to Wembley. It’s one of my greatest matches, and it was special to have an outdoor show at Wembley. Everyone was scared it was going to rain and ruin the show, and it was supposed to rain, but everyone crossed their fingers and it never rained. There were 82,000 people and something that made the match so special was that nobody knew who was going to win. I was able to do that with Bulldog at Wembley; right to the very last pin, no one knew who was going to win. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a beautiful thing to watch in wrestling when someone loses in the exact perfect way. That’s why the pin was so dramatic. There was no escape, there was no shame, but I made a mistake and Davey capitalized. It was a beautiful story, and I believe that was the match that launched me into a world champion.”

Playing the hero to fans:

“I’ve always taken a lot of pride that people believed in me as a hero. I tried not to fail them in my life. I tried to live a good life, I have three grandchildren now, and I’m very content right now. I’m still mending in a lot of ways from the latest tragedy in my family, losing my brother. I’m living every day that it could be my last, and I’m grateful for every day. Another good thing I have in my life are fans all across the world. I appreciate every one of them, and I will always do the best I can to show the respect for them that they’ve shown for me.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Source: Sports Illustrated

Harley Race spoke with Sports Illustrated’s “Extra Mustard” section on his health and pro wrestling. Here are some of the highlights:

How he’s feeling after falling in his home and breaking both of his legs back in June:

“Right now, it’s the legs that are bothering me. I’m sitting here now with two legs that aren’t very good. They’re in route to recovery, and I’m right along with them. In a little amount of time, I’ll be up walking again.”

Inspiring generations of wrestlers like Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, and CM Punk:

“I love that. And it’s all true. I was the guy who would go out and do whatever he needed to do, no matter what.”

Being the “world’s champion”:

“Being world’s champion is what I set out in life to do. I’m one of the few people on earth that can say they completed, in every aspect, what they wanted to do with their life. …Whether it was sitting in a steak house eating a steak or getting onto the edge of the ring with two or three people standing there, it was all the same to me.”

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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Source: E&C Pod Of Awesomeness

Recently on E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness, pro wrestling legends Edge and Christian chatted with current WWE Superstar Natalya. Among other things, Natalya talked about helping Charlotte Flair reach her potential in the squared circle, Chris Benoit helping her get her start in WWE, what she regrets from her pro wrestling career, and who her favorite opponents are.

According to Natalya, she is proud that she was able to help Charlotte improve in the ring the way TJ Wilson, also known as Tyson Kidd, helped her get better.

“I always wanted to be good for other people, so we could keep paying it forward. And the way TJ helped me, I’m proud to say, like, I helped Charlotte Flair that way, because when we had our match, we had a very famous match in NXT and we’ll talk about that another time, like, that match helped her so much to believe in herself. And she understood what it’s like, and now I’m going to put myself over, she understood what it was like to drive a nice car.” Natalya added, “she got a chance to work with somebody that was better and that way, she could learn and grow. That’s how I got better, by working with people who were better than me.”

On the subject of Charlotte, Natalya named ‘The Nature Girl’ as one of her favorite opponents. Natalya divulged that Charlotte really doubted herself when she arrived in NXT and that the two have developed an unspoken connection.

“One of my favorite, favorite, favorite opponents is Charlotte Flair. It’s just a magical chemistry that we have with each other. When I first met Charlotte Flair, one of the things I loved about her was how vulnerable she was. We had a very emotional conversation and she told me how she still didn’t believe in herself.” Natalya continued, “I love working with Charlotte. I know I can go in the ring and get the job done. She can go in there. She hits hard. I hit hard. It’s very, very, very physical to a point where I feel like we’re almost in a relationship and I mean that in the best way, a.k.a., the German suplex. But I love working with Charlotte. We just have this unspoken [bond]. We don’t have to talk. It’s just this connection that we have.”

Also, Natalya said she loved working with Nikki Bella, though she was scared of reinjuring John Cena’s future bride.

“Someone else that people would be surprised that I loved, loved, loved working with was Nikki Bella. She was determined to prove herself after her injury and you guys both know what it’s like to go through serious injuries, and especially anything to do with your spine. And Nikki had come back from this spinal fusion and it was really serious injury.” Natalya recalled, “I helped Nikki kind of with her in-ring return, but I was nervous because I was like, ‘TJ, I don’t want to be the one that hurts Nikki and have John Laurinaitis, Brie Bella, Daniel Bryan, and John Cena staring me down.’ Like with Nikki, you get the whole package. You get all of them.”

Natalya shared that she regrets not having an angle with close friend and WWE Hall Of Famer Beth Phoenix.

“One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t have a feud with Beth. We walked into SmackDown one day and they were like, ‘oh, you and Beth are wrestling.’ I went for years, and years, and years not having a rivalry with Beth. We were either always both bad guys, or both good guys, or teammates. And so, that was a regret that I had.”

Interestingly, Natalya claimed that Chris Benoit helped her and Kidd get hired by WWE at a time when Natalya’s uncle, the legendary Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, was not on speaking terms with WWE following the Montreal Screwjob.

“I don’t know if you want to include this or not, I was lucky enough that there were people in the industry at this time, when I got hired, Bret still wasn’t talking to WWE. They weren’t on good terms or they just weren’t talking at all. And everybody knows the history between Bret and WWE, and the Montreal Screwjob, so it was a tricky time for the Harts to get hired, so Chris Benoit was a good family friend and our family helped him break into the industry. So Chris Benoit actually is one of the people that helped me get hired and he really pulled for myself and TJ and he put pressure on Johnny [Ace] and said, ‘I want to help these two people get hired.’ So I really feel like it was Chris helped us get hired.”

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A WWE fan has started a petition to have a wax figure of Bret “The Hitman” Hart added to the famous Madame Tussauds Hollywood wax museum.

In the petition, which was posted on Change.org, Angie Garcia argues that the WWE Hall of Famer is most deserving of representing wrestling in the wax museum. The petition has received 244 signatures of the required 500 to date.

Here’s an excerpt:

When wrestling fans think of wrestling, one name comes to mind: Hulk Hogan, in which I respect. When I think of wrestling, I think of one name myself: Bret “Hit Man” Hart. I believe Bret Hart is the perfect person to represent wrestling at Madame Tussauds Hollywood Wax Museum by creating a Wax Figure of him if possible. He’s a retired professional wrestler that is known as the Excellence of Execution. He was one of the safest wrestlers to ever step foot inside a wrestling ring. He protected himself, his opponents and his craft while in a match. He was a 7 time world champion. Today, he’s still known as the Best there is, the Best there was and the Best there ever will be.

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Source: The Steve Austin Show

Recently on The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin shared his thoughts on WWE Superstar Seth Rollins’ connection to the audience, his character, and compared Rollins to WWE Hall Of Famer Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart.

According to Austin, Rollins is only “somewhat over” with the WWE Universe. Moreover, Rollins needs the crowd to be more invested in him for a long match like ‘The Architect”s WrestleMania 33 match versus Triple H to work.

“Rollins is somewhat over, not all-the-way over, not by a long shot. Now, I don’t mean that in a bad way. That’s just being honest.” Austin explained, “he [has] relied on his sequences and his athleticism to carry him. To take him to the next level, he’ll have to get more character development.”

Austin admitted that he still does not have a sense of the Seth Rollins character.

“When you say ‘Seth Rollins’ or if you want to say ‘Seth Freakin’ Rollins’, I still don’t have a sense of what or who this guy is. And so, that rests on Seth Rollins’ shoulders, as an individual, as a performer, to define or create that as well as the WWE because I still don’t get a sense of what kind of personality he is.”

Austin went on to compare ‘The Kingslayer’ to another top notch in-ring performer who was an introvert by nature, the legendary Bret Hart.

“Bret wasn’t an over-the-top guy. He was a pretty humble and a very quiet individual outside the ring, so in many regards kind of somewhat like Seth although Bret’s an entirely different animal, but there’s a case of a guy who’s not a showy kind of guy, but very conservative, but just a highly defined gimmick, a badass gimmick, and a world class worker, so Seth needs to work on this.”

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Source: Talk Is Jericho

Recently on Talk Is Jericho, professional wrestling great Chris Jericho spoke with WWE Hall Of Famer and WWE Monday Night RAW General Manager Kurt Angle. Among other things, Angle discussed some of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Shawn Michaels. Among other things, Angle shared his thoughts on Benoit’s matches going unseen, getting into a shoot fight with Guerrero, and his favorite WrestleMania bout.

According to Angle, he would actually have to raise his intensity level to compete with Benoit and said wrestling ‘The Rabid Wolverine’ was like looking at a mirror. The man who ‘Y2J’ used to call Kirk Angel claimed that he learned a lot from his Royal Rumble match with Benoit and that it is a shame that their matches will never been seen again.

“He was, he was. I never had anyone match my intensity the way he did. He was always there, blow for blow, it was just like a mirror. I was wrestling me. Actually, I picked up my intensity when I was working with Chris. But it does kind of suck that a lot of those matches are kind of forgotten, especially Royal Rumble (2003).” Angle continued, “it just had everything. It had submission trade-offs and this was, I mean, I would see Dean Malenko and [Jericho] do it, trade-off, here and there, in WCW, but this was really the first time and the whole match was based on it.”

Angle included Benoit on his personal list of top three professional wrestlers of all time, saying Benoit “could do it all” and that “he was incredible.”

“I’m sorry, but he has got to be in the top three of all time. I mean, you can’t deny that. I mean, even Bret Hart will tell you that.” Angle added, “I’m not going to excuse any of the things Chris did outside of wrestling, but when he was in that ring, he was possibly the greatest of all time.”

With respect to Guerrero, Angle said ‘Latino Heat’ may have been the best pro wrestler when he was healthy and that he was in his prime in WCW before being in a car accident.

“When Eddie was healthy, he could have been #1. I think Eddie was in his prime in WCW and the reason I say that is because he got in a car accident. That car accident did two things for him. It really inhibited what he could do after that. In other words, he had limits. He could still do a lot, but not like he used to. I used to watch him in WCW and be like, ‘wow, this kid’s incredible.’ But he almost couldn’t walk again after that accident, so yeah, yeah. Eddie was banged up when I wrestled him.” Angle recalled, “as good as he was in 2004, 2005, he had to be 10-times better back then. That’s mind-blowing. I mean, he could have been the absolute greatest of all time because when I wrestled him, he was still in that top three we were talking about, so Eddie had it all. He was so entertaining, but he also had all the technique. He was such a great wrestler and he got it. He got finishes. He knew how to structure them.”

Angle described an altercation he had backstage with Guerrero. Guerrero attempted a double-leg takedown on Angle, and ‘The Olympic Hero’ proceeded to choke out Guerrero.

“We had to jump Eddie out in the ring and I didn’t touch him, but we had these two big goon guys, Mark Jindrak and Luther Reigns! Horshu. They’re beating the hell out of Eddie, so we get heat on him at the end of the show. I’m in the back. I’m waiting for Eddie because I wanted to thank him, but I didn’t touch him. He comes straight up to me and blames me for it.” Angle said, “so this is like the fifth time he confronted me about it in about a month, so I shoved him. I just wanted to see what he would do. And he didn’t do anything, so I shoved him again and he double-legs me. I mean, you could’ve sucker punched me, but he double-legs me. And I’m like, ‘he did not just try to double-leg an Olympic gold medalist, so I laid the hips into him and then I started choking him out nice and slow.”

Angle said Guerrero was not ready to accept Angle’s apology right away and that the two were like brothers.

“Now, Eddie and I got in a fight and I wanted to make amends with him and you know Eddie has a temper, so five minutes after that fight, I walk in, I said, ‘I’m sorry, Eddie.’ I say, ‘I’m sorry about what happened.’ He goes, ‘I’m not ready yet.’ Oh, God! So I go, ‘you what?’ He goes, ‘I’m not ready to be sorry,’ so I push him again! I want to fight this poor kid. He doesn’t want to double-leg me again, so he’s just standing there and JBL got in between us. So I tried to call him that night and he wasn’t ready again, but the next week, he came to me and apologized and we both made up. And Eddie and I were brothers. My brother Eric and I, we fought all the time, so I didn’t mind. I mean, I knew Eddie was very much like my brother, Eric, had a temper, and was going to let it fly ever once in a while and we would get over it and we did. Eddie got mad at me a million times, but knowing he was exactly like my brother, Eric, okay, we can forgive each other the next day and move on. But the whole, ‘I’m not ready yet,’ I wanted to kick his butt.”

Angle shared that his WrestleMania 21 match with Michaels was his favorite WrestleMania match he had been in.

“I always wanted to wrestle him after I saw the match [Jericho] and Shawn Michaels had at WrestleMania. Like, I literally, I was pissed off because I didn’t watch [Jericho’s] match against Shawn at WrestleMania 19 and I was like, ‘me and Brock stole the show’ and then, the next day I’m watching it, I’m like, ‘son of a b—h, those guys had a better match than us. Damn it!’ I was like, ‘son of a b—h!’ I said, ‘well, it was Jericho and Shawn.’ I was like, ‘I already wrestled Jericho. I got to wrestle Shawn’ and I did at WrestleMania 21.”

The man who professed to being ‘just a sexy Kurt’, stated that he and ‘Mr. WrestleMania’ did not touch before their match.

“Usually you wrestle guys several times to get to know each other and the thing is, Shawn didn’t want to do anything that week. He just wanted to sit down to get to know me. We went over one spot where I had to lift him up over my head. He had an armbar on me and I had to, yeah, sunset flip. Other than that, we didn’t do anything and it was like, ‘does he really think he’s that good?’ Well, yeah, he is that good. We talked about the comeback and finish, which we always do, but other than that, the thing is, I never locked up with him. Like, you don’t get a feel. You want to get a feel for him, maybe do a couple of spots. He didn’t want to do anything. So it was like I got to know his family really well, he got to know mine, but Pat [Patterson] was there and he just let us B.S. and we did come up with some good false finishes like everybody does at WrestleMania. I just didn’t think I’d have that type of chemistry with someone that quickly.”

Angle had high praise for Michaels, calling ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ the best pro wrestler he has ever worked, though he wished he had the opportunity to wrestle WWE Hall Of Famer Ric Flair and Bret Hart in their primes.

“When you talk about that top three, yeah, it’s close. [Michaels is number one] for me too, me too. Well, I’m not going to lie to you, I wish I would have wrestled Ric Flair in his prime and Bret Hart in his prime. I did, so I have to say Shawn Michaels is the best.”